Late night funnyman Stephen Colbert took it to the World Cup in his opening monologue on Tuesday night’s edition of The Late Show.

In his opening monologue, Colbert offered comedic takes on the various controversies surrounding the tournament. He also was shining a light on the serious issues that have plagued the Qatar World Cup. Though irreverent in their delivery, comedy segments like this and others bring these important topics to a broader, more general audience who may not necessarily follow the sport (especially here in the US).

The host touches on the captains’ armband snafu, fans being refused entry to stadiums for wearing rainbow-adorned attire, lack of alcohol sales, and Iran’s players not singing their national anthem in protest.

Colbert rediscovers World Cup every 4 years

Similar to the armband fiasco, Belgium were told by FIFA they needed to removed a graphic from their jerseys that simply read “Love.” Colbert quipped:

“The word ‘Love’ is apparently an inappropriate message on a soccer jersey. That sacred space is reserved for celebrating important ideas like medical flim-flam hucksters [LA Galaxy shirt with Herbalife shown], Russian state oil conglomerates [Schalke 04/Gazprom], and ‘Dong’ [Danish training top featuring Dong Energy sponsor].

“They’re banning “love” and rainbows. Basically FIFA is the bad guy in a Care Bears movie.”

Stereotypical “jokes” about soccer

Of course, there were a few, for lack of a better term, “American soccer jokes” peppered in – such as “a yellow card… which is… bad? Is it good? It’s a banana coupon? I don’t follow the game.” One can expect some gags trivializing soccer to play to the mainstream American audience, but it is a bit humorous considering the network that airs The Late Show, CBS, has made massive investments in soccer programming in recent years.

But lighthearted jabs at the sport aside, more important is the (well deserved) ridicule Qatar and FIFA are receiving for what has surely been the controversial edition of the tournament to date.

You can watch the full monologue below:

Guide to World Cup 2022

Here are some resources to help you get the most out of the biggest event in soccer!
TV Schedule: All the info on where and when to watch every game
The Groups: We breakdown each group and all the teams
The Kits: Check out what every team will be wearing on the field this fall
Predictor: Play out every scenario with our World Cup Predictor
World Cup Bracket: Map out the entire tournament, from the groups to the final